All about Sterling Silver Jewelry
What Is Sterling Silver Jewelry?
Silver sterling is an alloy that consists of 92.5% of pure silver by weight and 7.5% of other metals by weight, which is usually copper.
Sterling silver is also referred to as 925 silver, as it relates to the percentage of pure silver used in the jewelry. Fine silver is 99.9% pure, in this form the metals get least rusted. Due to its pure form, the metal loses its hardness, they are generally too soft in their pure state.
Adding another metal makes the silver harder. Usually, copper is added to silver as this gives silver a hard structure and more durability.
The only drawback of adding copper is that the silver might turn dark over time due to humid conditions and may have a chance of getting rusted. But don’t get scared, cleaning is not a tough job. Your sterling silver will be in great condition.
How To Tell If The Jewelry Is Sterling Silver?
Sterling silver is a high-quality choice you would ever make in every scenario. Sterling silver does not get rusted easily. Here are a few steps that you can apply to cross-check your sterling silver.
- Looking out for 925 marks. You might need a magnifying glass to look out for 925 and sterling silver hallmarks on the inside of the jewelry. These imprinted hallmarks represent the realness of jewelry.
- You gotta Hisen Berg from the series breaking bad to carry out this next practice. Wear a mask and gloves and put on your goggles. Then get some nitric acid and dip your piece in the liquid. If the silver is fake it will turn green.
- Hold a magnet near your piece. Sterling silver will never get drawn to a magnet. As pure silver is non-magnetic your piece might be made with different metal compositions that is not 925.
- Rub your jewelry with a soft cloth. If the cloth turns black then you have real sterling silver. As silver in its pure form oxidizes and this turns its surface black.
- Sniffing your sterling silver piece ( we are not kidding ) can also tell you if it is genuine or not. Just smell your jewelry piece, sterling silver has no smell. If your item has some kind of smell to it that means, excessive copper is added.
How To Clean Sterling Silver Jewelry?
We have come across so many ways to clean a piece of jewelry. Cleaning sterling silver is not different. The best part about cleaning sterling silver is that it can be cleaned with your household items. Here we have listed the top 6 ways you can clean your silver at home.
- Mix baking soda and boiling water into a bowl layering with aluminum foil. Then remove the silver after few minutes and rinse it with some cold water. Then gently rub the silver. Due to this chemical reaction, the silver loses its tarnish.
- Grab a lemon and squeeze it into a bowl. Then add three tablespoons of salt and hot water to it. Slowly place your item in the mixture for a few minutes. Then clean it with a soft cloth.
- Take pea-sized toothpaste. Apply all over the piece and let it rest for few minutes. Then clean the item with a soft cloth. Chemicals in the toothpaste get rid of the tarnish.
- Take 4 tablespoons of ketchup in a small bowl. Then let the item rest inside the ketchup for some time. Afterward, take a small toothbrush and rub properly. Then gently wipe it off with a soft cloth.
- For this step, we will need vodka. Pour vodka in a bowl and then keep the bottle of vodka in the fridge directly, as you don’t want to get high whilst cleaning your jewelry. Put a piece of cloth and nicely soak it. Then sub the cloth over the silver as this will result in shining your silver.
- Dip the jewelry in vinegar for some time and gently wipe it with a soft cloth. Vinegar is one of a few household items that is used to clean a lot of stuff like bathroom showers, jewelry, etc.
How To Keep Sterling Silver Jewelry From Tarnishing?
Silver is known to tarnish a lot. Though, you can take a few steps to slow down the tarnishing process. Knowing what’s working for you is the first step to combat silver tarnishing.
WEARING YOUR SILVER OFTEN will slow down the tarnishing process over time. As your skin’s natural oil will keep your silver shining. Wearing can be the best option can be better than just letting the silver sit on your table catching moisture.
While doing your household chores opt to remove your silver. Stuff in household cleaners contains a lot of chemicals you do not know and don’t even bother to read in the ingredients. This might lead your silver to catch unwanted chemicals that will result in discoloring or tarnishing.
Keeping your silver away from direct sunlight is another way to prevent tarnishing. Using silica packets will also help your silver go long without catching rust.
QUICK TIP: Never wear your silver jewelry while sleeping.
How To Polish Sterling Silver Jewelry?
Sterling silver becomes a little tarnished when exposed to oxygen and sunlight. This is why cleaning your silver is important to keep using. Sterling silver can easily be cleaned and polished at home. To make sure your silver does not catch tarnish quickly keep them away from :
- Household liquids
- Direct sunlight
Taking your sterling silver to your jeweler can be a good idea. Jewelers have their cleaning setup already running for their customers. So if you don’t want to do something that might go wrong talking to a jeweler can be a great idea.
How To Care For Sterling Silver Jewelry?
Making your silver look as new as it was when it was bought is easy. Just implementing a few precautions and cleaning your silver will make your item last long.
While cleaning a lot of jewelers and customers make use of tissue paper which is probably the biggest mistake, always use a soft cloth to wipe your silver
Using a polishing chemical twice a month can be helpful. This will not let moisture settle down easily. A lot of folks are told to keep your silver in a dry place so they directly place it under the sun.
NEVER PLACE IT UNDER THE SUN as this might lead to discoloring of the silver.
What Is Better Stainless Steel Or Sterling Silver Jewelry?
Stainless steel is another alloy that is chosen by people in replacement of silver. Both alloys are famous for jewelry.
We have got a list of pros and cons for using stainless steel over sterling silver:
- In terms of durability, stainless steel has a lot more to offer than silver. As silver catches tarnish easily this results in customers getting tired of cleaning their silver now and then. Stainless steel also gets rusted but it can go years without any rust.
- Stainless steel is more lightweight, if you ever find yourself scratching or bumping into any object with your silver on, the silver might get a dent or scratch easily. Due to stainless steel’s light weight, the chances of getting your item damaged are less.
- Stainless steel is corrosion-resistant, as discussed earlier in this article we have already mentioned dozens of times that silver catches moisture from the air and this results in corrosion. Stainless steel has nothing to do with corrosion.
- Stainless steel is more affordable than silver.
- Maintaining stainless steel is easy than maintaining silver, you don’t have to empty every household item to clean stainless steel.
What Happens To Sterling Silver Jewelry As It Ages?
Sterling silver is not a durable metal. Due to its low durability, many people opt for stainless steel. After some time silver will start to tarnish, now that is a downside buy you by silver. One can expect their silver to be tarnished if not taken care of properly after ages.
Checkout our collection of sterling silver jewellery here.
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